We’re running a 100 county campaign to build a North Carolina agenda that truly reflects our state. In addition to rolling out our agenda, we want to highlight some of Jeff’s work in the state Senate over the last seven years.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Jeff turned his attention toward ensuring North Carolinians had the resources and information they needed to weather this crisis. Jeff helped constituents and non-constituents navigate the unemployment system and sent regular updates on community spread, vaccine distribution, and other important information.
Jeff has called for a robust COVID-19 relief package from the federal government that includes funding for state and local governments, money for local school districts so our kids can get back to in-person class safely, aid to people who need it, and help for small businesses.
He has also supported legislation at the state level that would increase unemployment benefits, allow work-sharing agreements with small businesses to support those businesses and keep people in the workforce, get aid to people struggling with housing due to COVID-19, and fund more school nurses so our kids can safely return to school.
From North Carolinians:
- “He followed up with me when I had a hard time getting my UI after 11 weeks of no benefits due to a poorly run system. He was the only person to call me personally to see if I got my UI. My representative in my district did not bother. You know who got my vote and who did not. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Jeff cared.” – Brian
- “You were the first person to try to help me with my UI benefits and I’m not even in your district. Thank you for focusing on this very important issue.” – Susan
- “I’m not even in his district, but when I have had a major issue I needed answers to (husband being a CO) he has answered me when my representatives wouldn’t. He knew I wasn’t in his district but he took the time anyway. Good character.” – Jessica
- “I was impressed with his updates regarding COVID-19. He kept us advised frequently. He fervently urged importance of wearing masks and social distancing. I think he is honest and dedicated to all the people of NC.” – Joyce
- “His transparency about the pandemic was in stark contrast to the rest of the government. He’s earned the trust of a young person who never trusted politicians before.” – Liam
- “Beginning Mid March 2020, we were shocked individually and as a family. Our family owned business was closed due to COVID-19. Our employees were out of work due to the closure of all schools for which we provide school photography services. There were no revenues coming in, only bills. By mid April, I was contacting all North Carolina Representatives, Senators and local representatives for Mecklenburg County regardless of political affiliations. After many emails and calls there was only one response which was from a wonderful woman who was working remotely for Jeff Jackson. Jeff Jackson did email and call with information which became very helpful. We were finally approved for the Payroll Protection Plan (early May) which took a while to be approved and funds finally came in July. Thank you Jeff Jackson.” – Billy
In North Carolina, over 1.4 million people live in poverty, including one out of every five children. Children of color are much more likely to face this — making up 45% of all children in our state but 65% of North Carolina’s kids in poverty. And there are hundreds of thousands more children living in low-income homes just above the poverty line.
There’s no single policy that can solve this. But we have the tools to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and children across the state. Housing, wages and opportunity, education, health care, and criminal justice all play enormous roles in economic mobility and lifting families and children out of poverty. Policy has to be designed to address the underlying racial inequalities.
Jeff has worked to reduce poverty and help build the middle class through increasing the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, increasing state support for affordable housing, and increasing funding for public schools, universities, and HBCUs. Our state needs criminal justice reforms including expanding expunctions and removing the bans on SNAP benefits for those previously convicted of controlled substance charges.
Expanding early childhood education and funding NC Pre-K and Smart Start to ensure every child has access to a high-quality preschool would also have an enormous impact on reducing poverty. Jeff has made this a top priority and will continue to do so.
North Carolina is home to over 1 million people who are uninsured. 11 rural hospitals have closed since 2005 and we have another 19 hospitals that could be on the brink of insolvency. Premiums continue to rise. We need immediate action to help increase access and reduce the costs of health care.
Jeff has been working for more accessible, and affordable health care for all North Carolinians since becoming a state senator in 2014. He has sponsored, and supported multiple bills to expand Medicaid which is the single largest policy change that North Carolina can make to increase the quality of care and decrease the cost of health care across the state.
Jeff has fought to get more funding for our schools. He’s a strong advocate for investing in early childhood education, raising teacher pay, and supporting our community colleges, HBCUs, and the rest of the university system.
In the state Senate, he’s sponsored legislation to increase early childhood education funding and eliminate the Pre-K waitlist, restore Master’s pay for teachers, invest in HBCUs, and expand rural broadband for our students and teachers.
As a frequent target of hurricanes with over 320 miles of coastline, North Carolina is on the frontlines of climate change. Tropical cyclones make landfall in North Carolina more than every other state in the country except Florida. But right now, we still consume almost four times more energy than we produce and only about 12% of the electricity generated in the state is from renewable energy.
We have to take advantage of our potential for renewable energies to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels and create thousands of jobs in the process. Right now, we’re importing natural gas and coal from other states instead of building on the renewable potential we have here at home.
We have the solar infrastructure, the rivers for hydroelectric, the capacity for offshore wind development, as well as untapped potential for wind in the western part of the state – all ready to drastically scale up our renewable energy production.
But we have to act now and make real investments. In the legislature, Jeff has been a consistent advocate for renewable energy and immediate climate action.
Racial justice is a part of every policy priority. From health care to education to housing to criminal justice – each has to take specific action to address the systemic issues that continue to lead to disparate outcomes for Black communities and other communities of color. Jeff has been and will continue to be a strong advocate who takes an active role in working for racial and social justice.
Jeff marched with Black Lives Matter protesters in Charlotte following the murder of George Floyd. In June 2020, when CMPD teargassed protestors in uptown Charlotte, Senator Jackson began an inquiry into what happened, what went wrong, and what needed to change. He laid out his methodical approach to get the truth, who he was contacting, and what he believed needed to be fixed and addressed.
In the state Senate, Jeff has worked to address underlying disparities through major reforms including expanding Medicaid, increased state support for affordable housing, increasing funding for public schools, universities, and HBCUs, and support for criminal justice reforms including expanding expunctions and removing the bans on SNAP benefits for those previously convicted of controlled substance charges.
Jeff has fought against voter suppression efforts such as gerrymandering and voter restrictions that are designed to reduce Black political power. He has also sponsored legislation to establish the Black Women & Girls Task Force, a group that would study the health and wealth disparities of Black women, review educational disparities and other key factors, legislation to allow municipalities to remove confederate monuments, and the NC Crown Act to prohibit discrimination against people based on hairstyle or hair texture.
Jeff also has a strong record of fighting for full recognition, inclusion, and respect for North Carolina’s Native American and Indigenous communities. In particular, Jeff supported fixing state recognition for the Lumbee Tribe and creating the Lumbee Tribe Trust. That support will continue in Congress – starting with the fight for full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe.
The Violence Against Women Act has expired, the right to choose is being attacked, and domestic violence has increased. The government should be standing up for its citizens, not playing politics with our health.
Jeff has repeatedly sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as legislation to remove excessive, partisan barriers to safe abortions. One of Jeff’s first experiences at the North Carolina legislature was when several non-partisan bills he had sponsored, which would’ve closed gaps in sex offense statutes, were added to an anti-abortion bill. Jeff stood against those attacks and voted against the bill and his own legislation. Jeff has and will continue to stand up against the politicization of women’s health and abortion access that we’re seeing across the country.
In 2015, Jeff filed the first bill to close the consent loophole in North Carolina. At the time, North Carolina was the only state in the country where the law said a woman could not revoke consent once it was given. Jeff proposed legislation to close the loophole three sessions in a row, but each time the GOP refused to pass it.
Finally, after national outrage and a fantastic lobbying effort, particularly by the North Carolina Coalition against Sexual Assault, SB199 was passed and signed into law in 2019, closing the consent loophole for good.
The LGBTQ+ community has been the target of hateful and discriminatory attacks under the Trump administration, from the transgender military ban to the rolling back of non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people looking for help from Health and Welfare programs. We have to enact nondiscrimination protections in law now to protect against any such attacks in the future.
Jeff has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. He vocally opposed HB2, the discriminatory legislation that drew national attention to North Carolina and cost our state billions of dollars. Jeff filed several bills to fully repeal HB2 and repeatedly pushed the majority party in the General Assembly to repeal the bill.
Gun Safety Reform
We’ve seen unacceptable, unconscionable acts of violence over and over again. And over and over again, our leaders fail to act. Not because of policy ignorance, but because of political fear. If we want to enact change, we have to change our leaders.
There is a voice in the gun debate that says, “You don’t know anything about weapons. You’re just afraid of what you don’t understand. Don’t regulate out of ignorance.” But a lot of folks do understand weapons — like Jeff, who was trained to use several types of weapons through his service in the Army National Guard. There is a growing number of informed and experienced gun users who are joining the gun safety reform push and agree that doing nothing in the face of this violence is unacceptable.
Jeff has proposed legislation to implement universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders and to prohibit the sale of bump stocks and similar devices. He has also proposed legislation to provide funding for public safety improvements and additional support personnel at North Carolina public schools.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system is not upholding its mandate to distribute justice and protect the public fairly and equally. There are deep racial disparities that impact Black and Hispanic communities. We incarcerate people for nonviolent drug offenses while relying on jails to be one of the biggest mental health providers in the country. We need comprehensive criminal justice reform and real investment in re-entry and treatment programs.
In the state Senate, Jeff proposed and supported criminal justice reforms including decreasing unnecessary arrests and engagements with the police, reducing the use of mandatory minimums, and helping the tens of thousands of North Carolinians who lost their driver’s licenses due to an unpaid traffic ticket. He has also supported legislation that would modernize our expungement system, making it easier for people to have their records expunged if they were found not guilty or their charges were dismissed.
And in 2016, Jeff was one of only two NC Senators to vote against a bill that would have made it harder for North Carolinians to access dash camera and body camera footage.
Fixing Our Democracy
We have a deeply corrupt system that allows politicians to pick their voters by gerrymandering districts and raking in corrupt PAC money, while never having to talk to their constituents face to face. They’re able to sow misinformation and then turn around and buy TV ads during election season. We have to demand better.
The first bill Jeff ever filed was to end gerrymandering by establishing an independent redistricting commission. Gerrymandering is designed to allow politicians to pick their voters, and in North Carolina, that means targeting Black voters and minimizing the impact of their votes. Senator Jackson has been outspoken about the need to reform our redistricting process so that politicians can’t draw their own districts or pick their voters. He has criticized both his party and the Republican party for their failure to address this moral issue while they were in power.
Jeff has repeatedly sponsored bills to pass good government reforms such as establishing an independent redistricting commission, extending the waiting period for former legislators to become lobbyists, and implementing online and automatic voter registration in North Carolina. Senator Jackson has also regularly called the majority party out on their blatant attempts at corruption and bad faith procedures in the NC General Assembly.